The commission awarded by the Fulton County Commission is the largest awarded to me and the Journey Projects to date. I immediately thought about the notion of sustainability, which includes not only supporting local merchants but also sustaining local artists. The commission presents the opportunity to work with an amazing community of artists including young artists who are contemplating careers in the arts or are interested in utilizing the arts to enhance other careers. Over the next several weeks we will visit some of these artists.
Leo Daly and Associates, the architects for Wolf Creek Library included an area for teens that they tentatively named “The Spot”. The Spot will be a place for teenagers to socialize, do homework, and work on personal projects. I have hired a group of 15 teens from South Fulton County Arts Center and Southwest Arts Center to assist in creating artwork for “The Spot”. Each teen will receive a small stipend for participating.
The “orientation” for these young employees includes classes on photography basics. Teens begin with a contemplative practice where they write about what they see rather than taking an actual picture. They also learn about Nicephore Niepce, Louis Daguerre, Anna Atkins, and other early photographers and the development of photography as an art form and commercial medium.
In addition, I cover exposure–aperture, shutter speed and ISO–how to pre-visualize a photograph and then adjust the settings to get the shot that you want rather than letting the camera make decisions for you. While the “auto” button on the camera makes it easy to take a photograph, you have no creative control. We also look at basic design elements such as line, shape, form and texture. Hopefully, these young photographers will emerge from their assignments with a greater knowledge about the medium that changed the way that we look at the world.